MONMOUTHSHIRE council is preparing to spend nearly £500,000 to overhaul the way in which four county tourism sites are run.

The changes, which could result in redundancies, will affect staff at Caldicot Castle, Chepstow Tourist Information Centre (TIC), the Shire Hall in Monmouth and Tintern Old Station.

A report has revealed that the cost of running these four sites has led to overspends in each of the last five financial years.

In 2016/17, the council went £302,566 overbudget – the highest overspend within the five-year period.

Elsewhere there were overspends of £47,998 in 2013/14, £150,530 in 2014/15, £182,643 in 2015/16 and £170,706 in 2017/18.

The report, which will go before cabinet on July 4, has outlined a new management structure at a £462,744 cost to the authority.

It reads: “This new proposed structure will ensure a more cost effective and efficient way of delivering the services, which in turn will optimize performance.”

Several new posts feature in the proposals, including a visitor attractions group manager which would oversee all four sites and identify new income streams to reduce service costs.

The new senior role would result in the losses of site managers at Tintern Old Station, Shire Hall and Chepstow TIC – but each of the sites will have new site supervisors.

Other roles, such as the receptionist, duty officer and visitor and events assistants at the Shire Hall, would be replaced by new roles.

Some of the new posts would be filled by existing casual staff on contracted hours, according to the report.

Caldicot Castle could benefit from new full-time employees including a site co-ordinator, catering assistants and park rangers.

The report says: “Caldicot Castle and Country Park has previously been managed on a part time basis and it is evident that this has not been successful.

“The castle needs to be adequately staffed to ensure that the castle can be safely opened to the public during the summer period and also to maintain access to the country park during the winter season.”

The proposals would see the role of the events co-ordinator deleted from the management structure.

If the plans are approved a recruitment process will begin, which the report says will recognise that several officers are being placed ‘at risk of redundancy’.